‘Un Chien Andalou’ – Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí

Un chien andalou (1929, 156MB, 15:40 min.)

This is just the source.
Can you imagine Cocteau, Deren, later Hitchcock & Cronenberg
without this?
Oh..more:- the whole of cinema would have a great gaping bloody gap
in it & what was left would be dull dull dull & Black Francis wouldn’t have been
able to write ‘Debaser’.
It simply prised open the language.
Afterwards, Bunuel went on to make some of the sharpest, most provocative
& disturbing films of the 20th century & Dali went on to
…well… be Dali.

Rick Silva – recap

Recap -trailer
Recap (trailer) (2006, 7.18MB, 1:12 min)

Says Rick Silva:
Recap is a remix of the cult classic graffiti movie
Wild Style (1982) where every piece of graffiti in
the original film has been digitally crossed out and tagged over
with the Recap tag.’

The full piece is available on DVD as an 82 minute video loop.

I find this piece intriguing. I’m pretty friendly to formalism –
it’s amazing what beauty & interest a good algorithm
(in the broadest sense) can deliver.
But here Rick Silva seems to have taken steps to eliminate
…perhaps too strong…rather…to render difficult
the emergence (partly because the original looks so great,
haven’t seen it, so even the trailer is, for me, quite irritating,
because by definition it covers up
[and maybe this
is the point – I think the setting & hence the mode of viewing
probably make a huge difference – I could see this working
brilliantly in a gallery where one takes in some of it & moves
on, digesting, but I think I would rather have extensive dental
work than sit & watch it as movie
] what
I long to see
.) of casual beauty.

Good though!
I don’t mean to be negative!
Better than bland of course, anytime!

The Head of Raymond K – Bottom Union

The Head of Raymond K (2006, 25.3 MB, 2:50 min.)

“Did any of this happen? Should I quit drinking coffee?
Do I exist? Am I only a construct in the mind of some insane norwegian?
Should I quit my job? Change my head?
These are only a few of the existential questions you might ask yourself
when you venture into the head of Raymond K.

Part 2 of 5 from Bottom Union

Josh Weinstein – “Cross Examination”

Cross Examination
Cross Examination (2005, 11.4MB, 5:40 min)

Made in 2005, this is a really extraordinary piece for lots of reasons:

(1) It’s so carefully made ( & must have taken no little work)
(2) The chutzpah quotient is almost 100%
(3) There is more here than meets the eye
(4) The use of music (in its second appearance very reminiscent
of the school of Rifle/Hartley but spot on nonetheless)
(5) The warmth, genuine warmth; the real insight into people

As you see here Josh Weinstein, Brooklyn based film maker
does a lot of work for corporate clients. Hmmm.
Really, all you can think is, on the basis of this, they get way,
way more & better than they could possibly deserve.

Iban M. Selles – De Noche

De Noche (2010, 71MB, 3:09 min)

I like the boldness of this, constructed by Iban M. Selles entirely
(and deftly) from stills taken on the set of , as I understand it,
a different film on which Iban Selles was working.
The sound, collaged from a number of movie soundtracks, is tremendous.
The piece as a whole has a slightly provisional feel to it -a study rather
than something definitive -but dull it’s not and I look forward to seeing
more work by Selles.

Toby Tatum – The Sealed World

The Sealed World (2009, 217MB, 5:59 min)

Very nicely executed short film from UK film-maker Toby Tatum,
who is clearly both gifted and imaginative.
It brings to mind an attempt to conjure in a distilled way the atmosphere of
pieces like Lucile Hadzihalilovic’s Innocence.
(and nothing wrong with this; I’m using Innocence as a point of comparison
rather than asserting influence)
I’m not sure it entirely succeeds – the act of distillation, of reduction to
suggestion, to atmosphere (ironically the very richness of the prize-winning music by Abi Fry
contributes to this) means it ends up feeling laid on a tad thickly.
Nonetheless it’s work that demands & deserves attention and I’ll be interested to see where
Tatum heads next.

Eleanor Suess films Christopher McHugh

Painting 01 (1998-2001, 58MB, 2:51 min)

More from Eleanor Suess, this time an exploration of a painting
by UK artist Christopher McHugh.
She get’s the usual basics of this sort of thing – fidelity to McHugh’s wonderful colour
sense in particular – spot on, but, as I’m beginning to realise with all of Suess’s
work, there’s a good deal more to it than initially meets the eye.
(Which expression strikes a philosophical note when applied to two
predominantly visual practices)
It’s the modesty (in the best sense) of the that work does it.
The work refuses either to ingratiate or ambush.
We could do with more of this.